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Two square barrows on Coomb Hill, 530m west of Coomb Slack Farm

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Two square barrows on Coomb Hill, 530m west of Coomb Slack Farm

List entry Number: 1017149

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: North Yorkshire

District: Scarborough

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Hutton Buscel

National Park: NORTH YORK MOORS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 04-Aug-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jan-2000

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 33500

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Square barrows are funerary monuments of the Middle Iron Age, most examples dating from the period between c.500 BC and c.50 BC. The majority of these monuments are found in the area between the River Humber and the southern slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors but a wider distribution has also been identified, principally through aerial photography, spreading through the river valleys of the Midlands and south Essex. Around 200 square barrow cemeteries have been recorded; in addition, a further 250 sites consisting of single barrows or small groups of barrows have been identified. Square barrows, which may be square or rectangular, were constructed as earthen mounds surrounded by a ditch and covering one or more bodies. Slight banks around the outer edge of the ditch have been noted in some examples. The main burial is normally central and carefully placed in a rectangular or oval grave pit, although burials placed on the ground surface below the mound are also known. A number of different types of burial have been identified, accompanied by grave goods which vary greatly in range and type. The most elaborate include the dismantled parts of a two-wheeled vehicle placed in the grave with the body of the deceased. Ploughing and intensive land use since prehistoric times have eroded and levelled most square barrows and very few remain as upstanding monuments, although the ditches and the grave pits, with their contents, will survive beneath the ground surface. The different forms of burial and the variations in the type and range of artefacts placed in the graves provide important information on the beliefs, social organisation and material culture of these Iron Age communities and their development over time. All examples of square barrows which survive as upstanding earthworks, and a significant proportion of the remainder, are considered of national importance and worthy of protection.

The Tabular Hills in the Wykeham Forest area contain a dense concentration of prehistoric monuments, dating from the Neolithic to the Iron Age, which includes field systems, enclosures and land boundaries as well as both round and square barrows. The very large number of burial monuments includes particularly rare examples of square barrows surviving as upstanding earthworks, and these will preserve a range of evidence within and upon the flat topped mounds which does not survive on the plough flattened examples elsewhere. These square barrows form an important group of this monument type which will provide valuable insight into cultural development during the Iron Age. The spatial and chronological relationships between the round and square barrows in the Wykeham Forest area, and between both types of barrow and other prehistoric monuments, are of considerable importance for understanding the development of later prehistoric society in eastern Yorkshire. Despite limited disturbance, the two barrows 530m west of Coomb Slack Farm survive well. Significant information about the original form of the barrows, the burials placed beneath them and any rituals associated with their construction and use will be preserved. Evidence for earlier land use and the contemporary environment will also survive beneath the barrow mounds and within the buried ditches. The barrows are part of a group of seven round and square barrows, six of which survive, and this kind of association provides valuable insight into the relationship between the two types of barrow.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes two adjacent square barrows situated in a prominent position at the northern scarp edge of the Tabular Hills. The western barrow has a flat topped earth and stone mound which stands up to 0.7m high. It is sub-rectangular in plan and measures 7m north to south by 5m east to west. In the centre of the mound there is a hollow caused by part excavations in the past. The eastern barrow has an earth and stone mound which stands up to 0.6m high. It is sub-square in plan with a side measuring 7m, orientated north to south. In the centre of the mound there is a hollow caused by part excavation in the past, which gives the once flat top an uneven appearance. Both mounds were originally surrounded by a ditch up to 2m wide, but these have become filled in over the years and are no longer visible as earthworks. The barrows lie within a dense concentration of prehistoric burial monuments, in an area which also includes the remains of prehistoric settlement and land division. A surfaced forestry track runs in a NNW to SSE direction between the two barrows and this is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Lee, G E, Wykeham Archaeological Survey, (1991)
Mytum, H, 'Moorland Monuments' in Iron Age square barrows on the North York Moors, , Vol. 101, (1995), 31-37

National Grid Reference: SE 95320 89433

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Nov-2017 at 02:27:35.

End of official listing